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Bushwig festival plans ‘out of control’ lineup with ‘Drag Race’ queens, veteran performers

The festival on Sept. 8-9 offers a safe space to let people "fly their freak flags."

The Bushwig festival, being held in Maspeth this

The Bushwig festival, being held in Maspeth this year, is back and bigger than ever. Photo Credit: Maro Hagopian

This year’s Bushwig festival is the biggest ever, with “Drag Race” contestants and New York’s favorites, so you better believe “freak flags” will fly, henny.

The queer drag and music festival on Sept. 8-9 in Queens promises to have the largest lineup yet with more than 160 rising and veteran performers who will offer drag, live music and beats to dance to.

“The lineup is really out of control,” Babes Trust, the co-founder and co-producer of the fest, told amNewYork. “Everything has kind of gone off the charts and really blown up for us. We’re thinking about being the Coachella of drag.”

The drag performers are too numerous to name them all, but personalities like Sasha Velour, Aja, Alaska, Pearl and Thorgy Thor will grace the stages.

Babes also will perform for the first time in awhile at Bushwig, with Bottoms, an electronic punk band, they said.

While it’s a big two-day drag party, it’s also about supporting performers and fostering an inclusive, safe space for everyone, they said.

“We try and make the space non-judgmental or queer-friendly,” they said. “We let their freak flags fly. It’s not just about drag queens and queer people, anyone can come. We’re very inclusive.”

When Babes Trust and Horrorchata started Bushwig in 2011, it was a grassroots effort that started in the backyard of an art space. This year, 400 performers applied to perform at the festival, which is at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, a revamped 50,000-square-foot glass factory, with seven bars — three more than last year, including the “Cheeky Darkroom.” You can probably imagine what the Red Light District-esque space might be like.

Bushwig has also spread beyond New York City to Berlin and Los Angeles and next year to Mexico City.

“The festival is taking on its own personality and becoming like the drag festival for this generation and generations to come,” Babes said. “Because ... we’re not so much young queens anymore, darling.”

The producers also have put together an LGBTQ security team so that everyone feels protected and safe, Babes said.

“Now it’s grown, but people feel really connected to us,” Babes said. “When people come to Bushwig it feels like home and feels like a family.”

For tickets ($35 to $75) to the festival, check out bushwig.com. Doors open at 1 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning and at 11 p.m. Sunday night.

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